Frank Harary 1921-2005


Dr. Frank Harary was born on March 11, 1921 in New York City. He obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Brooklyn College in 1941 and 1945 respectively and his doctorate from University of California at Berkeley in 1948. He held a faculty position in Mathematics at University of Michigan from 1948-1986 where he was also a member of Institute of Social Research from 1950-1982. He was a Distinguished Professor (and later Distinguished Professor Emeritus) in the Computer Science Department at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces from 1987 until the time he passed away.

Dr. Harary was widely recognized as one of the pioneers of modern graph theory, a discipline of mathematics he helped found, popularize and revitalize. An author of numerous books and articles, his book ``Graph Theory'' published in 1969, is a modern classic that helped define, develop, direct and shape the field of modern graph theory. It is one of the most cited and influential scholarly works in modern scientific literature. Dr. Harary taught what were the first graph theory and combinatorial theory courses ever in 1955 at University of Michigan. He was also the founder of Journals of Combinatorial Theory and Journal of Graph Theory and served on the editorial boards of many more. During his long and productive career, Dr. Harary authored/coauthored more than 700 scholarly papers in areas as diverse as Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, Linguistics, Music, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Social Science and of course Mathematics which brought forth the usefulness of Graph Theory in scientific thought. Dr. Harary guided 16 Ph.D.students many of whom have gone on to be distinguished scholars themselves. Dr. Harary was a recipient of many national and international honors including the Distinguished Alumnus and Lifetime Achievement awards from Brooklyn College and honorary degrees from University of Aberdeen, Scotland (D.Sc. in Mathematics), University of Lund, Sweden (Fil. Dr. in Social Sciences), University of Exeter, UK (D.Sc. in Computer Science), University of Macedonia, Thessaliniki, Greece (Dr. of Economics and Social Sciences) and University of Louisville (Ph.D. in Mathematics). Dr. Harary was also a fellow at Oxford (Wolfson College 1973-74)) and Cambridge (Churchill College 1980-81) Universities and an honorary fellow of Indian National Academy of Sciences and Vice-President of the Calcutta Mathematical Society. Dr. Harary loved to travel all over the globe to spread the gospel of graph theory - he delivered over a thousand conference and invited lectures in more than 87 countries in four different languages. Dr. Harary was a true scholar with a genuine love for graph theory which was an endless source of new discoveries, beauty, curiosity, surprises and joy for him till the very end of his life.

For his numerous contributions to the field, Dr. Harary was fondly referred to as ``Mr. Graph Theory'' by his colleagues, peers and students. He will be greatly missed.

Desh Ranjan
Professor and Department Head
Department of Computer Science
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003
USA

GTWP entry for Frank Harary
Frank Harary's Graph Theory Descendants